Tag: online advertising

$80 Billion? Online Display Market Is Being Overhyped

Say it isn’t so, Ad Age:

It’s déjà vu all over again as the web giants scurry to build massive internet-ad networks: Microsoft makes plays for Yahoo, both of them talk to AOL, Google tries to milk a display powerhouse from DoubleClick, and venture capitalists throw money at ad networks and exchanges.

But amid the frenzy, it might be worth taking a look at whether today’s economic and marketing developments are shrinking that pot of gold they’re all after.

Actually, it isn’t quite déjà vu. Last time around things were rosy – investors paid dearly for the hype and then passed on the risk. This time around, the petals are already wilting, and investors have nobody to hand dead flowers to.

UPDATE: Nevertheless, there’s always someone lingering in the shadows to pick up the scraps.

Online ad slowdown in the making?

Michael Learmonth:

So much for the theory that online ad networks are immune to an economic slowdown: PubMatic, a company that helps online publishers sift through ad network offerings to find the highest-priced ad, said average ad network prices were down 23% from March to April…

Big sites fared worse than small ones. Ad rates for big sites (more than 100 million page views a month) dropped 52% to $0.18 in April from $0.38 in March (do I hear free?). Medium sites (1 million to 100 million page views a month) were nearly flat with rates dropping a cent to $0.33 from $0.34, while small sites actually improved to $1.29 in April from $1.18 in March.

Is this a wholesale slowdown in the making, or long-tail economics coming into play? Maybe “free” does make sense in some circumstances – and maybe larger sites (or those wanting to move into the “large” category) should start thinking about new business models.

Disclosure: This weblog participates in the Forbes program, a network of small sites, and I do it just for fun.

Social Shopping Shills

Ad arbitrage at its finest. But nothing for the consumer.

Yesterday evening I hit the web searching for a product – something along the lines of the tried and true (and cheap) I already have. One page in, and of course I run into an ad. I click that ad, and I wind up at a site that supposedly is all about “social shopping.” Hmm…maybe I’m about to get a good recommendation.

I look closely and what do I see? A whole bunch more ads, and a bunch of category listings that supposedly contain results for what I’m looking for. Besides the fact that half the categories are completely irrelevant to my inquiry, I click on the closest to.

What do I find this time? A pile of listings that barely represent my need and…a boatload more ads. All of those ads are specifically worded to make me believe they will direct me to what I’m searching for, but by now I’ve shut down. Someone paid for the first ad click, and now they want me to click on more ads. They did nothing for me, and some ad distributor just made fifty cents.

I can’t help but think this is where an unreasonable proportion of the online ad money is really going (literally down the tubes), as I seem to see this same thing all the time. I’m not sure advertisers realize this, and I doubt they ever wonder why when it comes to site-based ad blocking, the onus is entirely on them to manage it.

I’m also glad that cash isn’t coming out of my pocket.

I didn’t link to the site in question, as I’m sure they’re private and see no benefit in hammering them. It’s just the concept that hurts.

UPDATE: All wrong. As it turns out, all that ad money is being put to good use.

So Many Ads, So Few Clicks

Maybe someone will pay attention when this hits the newstands.

Mucho mini-roundup on Facebook, Microsoft and Google

– Terrence Russell says Microsoft really didn’t overpay for it’s Facebook stake.

– A journalist shill says Facebook is tripling up with some hedge funds while the going’s hot.

– A credible source tries making sense of it all and concludes by inference that people never learn (even if the lesson just whacked their friends on the side of the head).

– Still others are laughing that the joke’s not on them.

Is this just a distraction? Did Google get Microsoft to pay a quarter-billion for some ad potential just as online advertising begins slipping?

UPDATES:

– Kara Swisher annihilates, with courtesy and professionalism.

– Rumors by fake people have been picked up by the real. Note: that doesn’t necessarily validate anything.

– Josh Catone opines it may be all about search.

– Paul Kedrosky says Microsoft is now cursed.

Meanwhile…

More apps targeting humans with no money. And bad credit. All those ads, and no buying power. Hmm.

STILL MORE:

The Microsoft investment instantly makes MySpace worth $65 billion.

The Times Timing…Not So Prescient

The New York Times has opened up their pay wall, Times Select, citing the need to embrace search engine traffic and online advertising.

Meanwhile, they’re bleeding to death, and smart folks are calling for a web shakeout.

Next stop? Google buys them, in bankruptcy court?

Don’t need web ads, but still need bacon

The latest…online advertising exchanges are beginning to mirror commodities exchanges. Exchanges, however, seem to work best when there is a scarcity of resources. I don’t see any scarcity in the online ad realm, as the “real estate” has a marginal cost near zero, and delivery isn’t guaranteed (users can block ads).

The mirror must need cleaning.